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America

A light folk-rock act of the early '70s, America had several Top Ten hits, including the number ones "A Horse with No Name" and "Sister Golden Hair." Vocalists/guitarists Dewey Bunnell, Dan Peek, and Gerry Beckley met while they were still in high school in the late '60s; all three were sons of U.S. Air Force officers who were stationed in the U.K. After they completed school in 1970, they formed an acoustic folk-rock quartet called Daze in London, which was soon pared down to the trio of Bunnell, Peek, and Beckley. Adopting the name America, the group landed a contract with Jeff Dexter, a promoter for the Roundhouse concert venue. Dexter had America open for several major artists and the group soon signed with Warner Bros. Records. By the fall of 1970, the group was recording its debut album in London, with producers Ian Samwell and Jeff Dexter.

"A Horse with No Name," America's debut single, was released at the end of 1971. In January 1972, the song -- which strongly recalled the acoustic numbers of Neil Young -- became a number three hit in the U.K. The group's self-titled debut album followed the same stylistic pattern and became a hit as well, peaking at number 14. Following their British success, America returned to North America, beginning a supporting tour for the Everly Brothers. "A Horse with No Name" was released in the U.S. that spring, where it soon became a number one single, pushing Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" off the top of the charts; America followed the single to the top of the charts. "I Need You" became another Top Ten hit that summer, and the group began work on their second album. "Ventura Highway," the first single released from this collaboration, became their third straight Top Ten hit in December of 1972. In the beginning of 1973, America won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist of 1972.

Homecoming was released in January of 1973, becoming a Top Ten hit in the U.S. and peaking at number 21 in the U.K. America's essential sound didn't change with this record; it just became more polished. However, the hits stopped coming fairly soon -- they had only one minor Top 40 hit in 1973. Hat Trick, the group's third album, was released toward the end of 1973; it failed to make it past number 28 on the American charts. Released in the late fall of 1974, Holiday was the first record the group made with producer George Martin. Holiday returned America to the top of the charts, peaking at number three and launching the hit singles "Tin Man" and "Lonely People." "Sister Golden Hair," pulled from 1975's Hearts, became their second number one single. That same year, the group released History: America's Greatest Hits, which would eventually sell over four million copies.

Although America's 1976 effort Hideaway went gold and peaked at number 11, the group's audience was beginning to decline. After releasing Harbor to a lukewarm reception, Dan Peek left the group, deciding to become a contemporary Christian recording artist. The group continued as a duo; their last Martin-produced record, Silent Letter, was released in 1979 to little attention. America returned to the Top Ten in 1982 with "You Can Do Magic," an adult contemporary pop number that featured synthesizers along with their trademark harmonies. "The Border" became their last Top 40 hit in 1983, peaking at number 33. After releasing America in Concert in the summer of 1985, the group continued to tour successfully into the '90s, resurfacing in 1998 with Human Nature.

The early part of the new millennium saw America release not only a handful of live albums as well as a holiday-themed studio recording, but also the exhaustive, career-spanning box set Highway, released in 2000. On the heels of this renewed interest, America were tempted back into the studio in 2006 by longtime fans and musicians Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne and James Iha of the Smashing Pumpkins. Although encouraging Bunnell and Beckley to stick to America's core sound, producers Schlesinger and Iha brought in younger musicians influenced by America to guest on the album, including Ryan Adams, Nada Surf, and others. Released in early 2007, Here & Now featured new material by America as well as covers written by bands heavily influenced by the soft rock pioneers. The duo of Bunnell and Beckley returned with the independently released covers album Back Pages in July 2011. That very same month, the duo's former bandmate Dan Peek died at his home in Missouri at the age of 60. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

One of the best of the era.
Great group named after a great country
God Bless America....
sister golden .. jamming it now
rncindy50
Good memories
I wish this real, soulful music could come back.
Greatest hits
Oh yeah Ventura highway
Love this..from young days
I appreciate the fact this music makes you feel good:) they don't yell and growl like the so called music my kids listen to
Awesome song
I didn't realize America sang Magic. It's such a different style / topic from their usual...
Noah happy 1st birthday
awesome!
t_heath
USN in Norfolk when these guys were popular....l o t of great memories.... . . .
luis_alejand r o _ m e n d o z a 8
Wow! !!!
I love a horse w/no name
Wow!!!!Their awesome crazy I grew up in the 70s and yes it was to use a word from my teenage years b**chin all the way!!! Good times I'll never forget especially when I hear songs like that from AMERICA .memories come flowing through my mind thank you thank you thank you again Pandora!!! :-) :-) :-) :-) listening to Pandora take it easy from Eagles!!!! :-) :-) :-) yeah!!!
Was in my way up to sta barbara from la. And guess what.? Suddenly this song was being played. On the radio the same. Hwy and the same son ..ventura hwy( i think is. The101) just by the p.oceam
valen9111
In the air
Please insert breaking bad comment here
anjsmommy27
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in the next 2 days. Now you've started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in BIG letters this is so scary cud it actually works!
lopezjhn12
Listening to this great song brings many fond memories flooding back . Great song
The door is open for all the lyrics u can stand tin man...I have your heart come on over...red rover red rover send the tin man right over his heart is through the open door...
You get awfully lost and thirsty in the desert...fin d sister golden hair she has a paper cup.....��
This song was the first I learned on guitar
Po
Dear pandora, you've swindled the lyrics. Put them back....damn .
I absolutely love America - the country - AND the group. They have to be one of my all time favorite groups.
myvilla08
America The Right Thing To Do
Cool. A lot of America tonight. Grew up in the 70's and listened to them a lot.
nanwehl2
What happened to the lyrics?? I really miss them. Can we have them back?
Put back the LYRICS!....
This song sucks
ginammaldona d o 9 2
I would have loved to ride that horse with no name
Great song!
Another great song from the 70s. America was a great band.
That would be me.
Good song good memories
I want to live in the 70's
We want lyrics!!
Well I stop think about you sister golden hair so bright...
America is one of the best bands! That came out of the 70's!
teenage makeout tunes I still enjoy
so many memories
joevalles9
Great time to get into real R&R, 07/69. Still my fave music genre!
vcrowley820
Say iPhone 5 times Pick a color Post this on five other songs Look under your pillow.
I 12 reminds me of ABC radio am love it
This song make it seam like summer all over again
Christi Bloomfield likes it
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